The Lm4 by KWA is by no means a new contender in the airsoft market. In fact, it's been a part of the airsoft community for almost as much time as I have. I have to think pretty far back to remember a time when it wasn't the defacto option for Gas Blowback Rifles. It certainly was an evolutionary step forward for the airsoft hobby when it released, combining gas realism with a manufacturer capable of making guns that actually worked without having to upgrade them out of the box. It was definitely a big talking point when it released all those years ago, but is it still worthwhile now?
Let's find out, in our official review of the most up-to-date version of the KWA LM4 available in 2019.
This gun was clearly designed to be the most realistic option for avid airsofters on the market. It's PTR marking stands for professional training rifle, a moniker used to denote just how realistic this airsoft gun is. It is capable of taking the pistols grips, stocks, and handguards from real AR15's, and while it's not recommended, you can even fit real fire arm buffer tubes to it (just don't expect to put your old one back on) for maximum realism. The metal used to construct this gun feels identical to any of the AR15s in my personal collection.
When your rack the charging handle, everything changes. As you drift from the land of limp springs and battery powered gearboxes over to gas blow back, you feel realism oozing out of this gun before you ever pull the trigger. The weight of the buffer spring feels tremendous that first time you chamber the LM4. From the definitive click of the safety lever to the sharp jolt when you press the bolt release, every piece of kinetic feedback on this gun tells you what's going to happen when you pull the trigger.
Even more than the presentation, is the way KWA has improved the rifle. The internal components see the usual updates for better performance, but even the externals got love. While the receiver used to come in three pieces, KWA now uses a single piece upper receiver, cutting down on failures from the raw force of cycling this airsoft gun.
Before we get into how this gun shoots, We need to take a second to discuss how realistic this KWA LM4 gets as you take it down. Opening the receiver allows you to pull out the bolt and charging handle, which you'd be hard pressed to tell for sure was from an airsoft gun.
As we get into the shooting aspect of the rifle, the trigger pull is expectedly heavier than an AEG. It has a pretty defined wall before it breaks, and you can feel the sear release as you break it all the backward. The rifle cycles, producing a much louder report than your typical electric gun as well. The rifle kicks back into your shoulder, comparable in force to a .22lr, and repeats the loading process.
As this all happens, a BB begins to fly down range at approximately 400 FPS. We did get some variance, but with the temperature fluctuations outside of AirsoftRifle.com HQ it is to be expected. We also ran into some loading issues using the standard .20g BB we chrono with on full auto. We had to switch to a much denser and heavier .32g BB in order to get the rifle to cycle properly. This is primarily because we test with biodegradable BBs, which are softer. Keep that in mind if they are required where you play.
We saw distances of around 175 feet with the lighter BBs when they would cycle, but where this gun really shines is in it's ability to hop heavy bb's to long distance. Properly sighted in, I was able to nail a man sized target at distances of up to 250 feet with a .32g bb. That's a blessing, since the magazine only holds 40 rounds, you'll want the relative safety being farther away affords.
All of the components of this gun's internal mechanism are designed with the purpose of being a functional training tool. While specifications are different, the design ethos inside is identical to a real AR15. It really is the most realistic airsoft rifle on the market today.
This means your maintenance will be very similar, much in the same fashion that a gas blow back pistol will be. Keep in mind, that doesn't mean you can use your AR15 solvents and cleaners. Stick to silicone oil here and you'll be just fine. We also tested on a variety of gasses for function, and while it liked green gas the best, MAPP gas, black, red, and puff dino high power gas all played nice with the rifle as well. KWA does only recommend green gas for their rifles however.
It's 2019. The LM4 has been on the market for a while. Is it still relevant?
KWA has been smart to continue updating the rifle over the years. It's been improved, updated, and had problems from launch corrected. While Gas Blowback is a tough mountain to climb for a lot of players, the LM4 may be one of the best guns on the market in that category.
If you aren't scared off by it's $339 price tag, snatch one up. It's definitely still got it, even this long after release.